Schtuff

Although I’m no Jeff Schuler or Andy Timithy in terms of hard­core bik­ing, I think I’m going to start rid­ing my bike to work come Mon­day.

I was gonna grill on Sun­day but it looks like thun­der­storms.

I got my order from Toms Shoes yes­ter­day. They are as com­fort­able as they say. I didn’t believe it. But the best part is that my pur­chase bought a pair of shoes for a shoe­less kid as well. All Toms Shoes pur­chas­es do that. If you decide to get some, you can use the dis­count code 1PAIR4FEET at the check­out to get a fiv­er off the price. Basi­cal­ly free ship­ping.

Fin­ished Herodotus, con­vinced he’s the first weblog­ger. Back to Agee and U.S. Guys by Char­lie LeDuff.

Prob­a­bly gonna go see Antaeus Dance tonight since just about every­one I know is in the per­for­mance, includ­ing the afore­men­tioned JS.

PhotoShop Class

I took a Pho­to­Shop class all day today just down the street from my office. I learned a met­ric fuck­ton of info that I can’t wait to put into prac­tice. I used to won­der what could be so impor­tant that busi­ness folks would be on their cell­phones all the time, but I was wor­ried about the deliv­ery of the ISC Annu­al Report since I was the main moti­va­tor at get­ting a few copies print­ed and bound nice­ly. They were due yes­ter­day, and last I knew they still hadn’t been deliv­ered. They’re due tomor­row, by law, to the ADP Board, so I was hitch­ing back down the street on breaks and mak­ing phone calls to check on the every­thing.

And the thing is, I don’t mind it. I love the fact that I’m trust­ed to imple­ment my ideas and expect­ed to suc­ceed at them. My judg­ment is trust­ed and I love that respon­si­bil­i­ty.

R2 Detour

Mom came up this week­end and bought a lap­top. I was gonna pimp it out for her, but Adelphia/Time Warn­er decid­ed to switch over their servers with­out noti­fy­ing us, and it took them the whole week­end to turn it back on. Frus­trat­ing.

On my way to work today I saw this guy.
R2D2 First Class

Nostalgia Reject

I think I’m going to reject the act of nos­tal­gia from my life. Hind­sight, reflec­tion and appre­ci­a­tion of the past are fine, but com­par­ing the past to the present’s detri­ment is inef­fi­cient, irre­spon­si­ble and inau­then­tic. All moments are incom­pa­ra­bly pre­cious and moments past should not dis­tract and detract from the val­ue of the moments present.

Ratatat Deux

I saw Ratatat for the sec­ond time last week­end. The first time was almost two years ago when they were tour­ing with Clin­ic. Stroud didn’t appear to be pound­ing whisky as hard as he was last time, but I wasn’t pay­ing much atten­tion, since the Beach­land was inun­dat­ed with mid­dle and high school kids in an all ages showathon. Damn kids don’t know how to behave at a show. I don’t know how many times some­one whined at me “Why won’t you let me in front of you?” since I was pret­ty close to the stage and am tall. Damn kids should have showed up at 8:30 like I did to see the open­ing acts. They might have learned that the local Muamin Col­lec­tive is great. Despite the sea of greasy teenager­dom I enjoyed the show. Ratatat’s act is more pol­ished than it was two years ago [to be expect­ed], but the best part is that I have a cam­era that takes video so I can share the love.

Muamin Col­lec­tive:
Pro­fes­sor Mur­der:
Ratatat “Crips”:
Ratatat “Tru­man”:
Ratatat “Sev­en­teen Years”:

The Blood of a Poet

A part of this view­ing list: Cri­te­ri­on Col­lec­tion Spine #67: Jean Cocteau’s The Blood of A Poet.

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At first, this film seemed impen­e­tra­ble to me. It only clocks in at 50 min­utes, but the film is so filled with a need for inter­pre­ta­tion that “preg­nant” doesn’t even begin to describe it. Jean Cocteau explic­it­ly states that the film is an alle­go­ry [or sev­er­al of them] about the the mean­ing of art both time­less­ly and in the age of mechan­i­cal repro­duc­tion. I’ve very delib­er­ate­ly not read any­thing about this film [I will once I’ve fin­ished this review, you­betcha] but I sus­pect that Cocteau was wrestling with his own artis­tic thought-demons and upon com­ple­tion, he decid­ed to express them per­son­al­ly, and ulti­mate­ly fatal­is­ti­cal­ly in this film.

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A few inter­ti­tles set the stage ear­ly on, as an artist is work­ing on a draw­ing of a stat­ue in his room. The mouth of the draw­ing comes to life and ends up get­ting attached to his hand and pos­sess­ing it. It demands air, makes out with him, fon­dles his body and prob­a­bly gives him a blowjob [a cut makes this part mere­ly implied, at least to me]. Even­tu­al­ly the artist/poet ends up going through the look­ing-glass and into his own [and since he stands for Cocteau, Cocteau’s] mind. His mind hap­pens to be a hotel hall­way and as he peeks through the key­holes he glimpses styl­ized and dis­turb­ing things.

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The film is quite vio­lent, much of which is expressed with the char­ac­ter­is­tic Cocteau inven­tive­ness. He was cer­tain­ly a spe­cial effects genius. Since much of this vio­lence appears to be an inter­nal­ized man­i­fes­ta­tion of the artist’s mind, it shouldn’t be sur­pris­ing that there is an equal amount of deviant sex­u­al behav­ior as well, a child dressed in bells is whipped, an opi­um den is viewed in sil­hou­ette, a her­maph­ro­dite gives a peep-show, not to men­tion the afore­men­tioned hand/blowjob.

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The statue’s con­trol of the artist/poet sug­gests that it rep­re­sents a Muse, but a rene­gade one who doesn’t play by the rules. She is out to teach a les­son; though art may pos­sess and pro­vide grandiose and won­der­ful and world-chang­ing pos­si­bil­i­ty to the artist, some­thing of extreme solem­ni­ty; to oth­ers it will like­ly be just friv­o­lous enter­tain­ment. And, ulti­mate­ly, the impor­tance of the art will not mat­ter, it will be destroyed, ignored, dis­in­te­grat­ed, or for­got­ten. Cocteau even indi­cates that immor­tal­i­ty is not to be desired… “the mor­tal tedi­um of immor­tal­i­ty.”

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Effec­tu­al­ly, the film is an attempt to ren­der poet­ic words unto images, and to me it seems to be more doc­u­ment than fable, Cocteau offers no easy solu­tions. Espe­cial­ly since the artist/poet com­mits sui­cide twice dur­ing the film. Stars, wire­frames, pas­sages, voyeuris­tic glo­ry ever­last­ing, denial, lar­ce­ny and pow­er­less­ness all inter­twine to present a two-fold mean­ing [at least] for the Blood of a Poet. The blood is his art, and art demands a poet’s blood.

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Cri­te­ri­on Essay by Jean Cocteau.
• Brief review at Net­co­muk [and much more Cocteau].
• Sens­es of Cin­e­ma review.
MovieMar­tyr review.
• YouTube clip of a good trick shot.

Lucky Strike

I got lucky tonight when the pow­er went off at my [most­ly worth­less] Flash class at the Tri-C Cor­po­rate Col­lege. We left ear­ly, which meant I had time to play pseu­do-catch-up on all the crap that has been pil­ing up at my apart­ment. I used to won­der how it could be pos­si­ble that some­one might not have enough time to read, but with the three vol­un­teer projects I’m cur­rent­ly work­ing on, the free­lance work, my reg­u­lar 9–5 and oth­er unseen events, I now have a huge pile of read­ing. I’ve already renewed the Agee book of film reviews twice and Herodotus once. Inci­den­tal­ly, read­ing Herodotus is a lot like read­ing a weblog. I’m two months behind on my Paste sub­scrip­tion, so I’ve def­i­nite­ly got to catch up on that.

I man­aged to watch a Cri­te­ri­on film twice tonight. Hope­ful­ly I’ll be able to fin­ish the review tomor­row. I was pseu­do-MetaFil­tered when some­one linked to my Cri­te­ri­on Project in anoth­er post about some­one who intends to watch all of the films. I only got about a 30% increase in traf­fic, [took me for­ev­er to remem­ber the pass­word to check my web­stats] which is good. If I had been linked on the front page, I’d prob­a­bly have to pay a hefty serv­er bill this month.

Check­ing the web­stats revealed that the string that keeps result­ing in hits for my site is “rape scenes” ever since, way back when, I reviewed Straw Dogs. And now I prob­a­bly just increased the chance of my site show­ing up in that result by writ­ing it here. DON’T INDEX THIS, BOT!

Going to sleep now. I’ll be bowl­ing for Har­vest for Hunger tomor­row at the Cor­ner Alley. I was shang­haied by the Depart­ment of Devel­op­ment when they lost a per­son. The Coun­ty Com­mis­sion­ers are bowl­ing against City offi­cials tomor­row before us nobody’s get to work. I haven’t bowled in a few years but I ful­ly intend to kick everyone’s ass.